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Sunday, August 2, 2009

Author of Near Perfection Revealed!

Who is the author of Near Perfection?

Do you remember my posts about Near Perfection—that outstanding entry I judged in the 2009 Winter Rose Contest? If not, let me remind you. I first encountered Near Perfection in the 2009 Winter Rose Contest. I'm a tough judge because I was an English major, but a fair one because I am a lawyer. I always explain my reasoning for a low score and suggest possible revisions for a higher score in the future; I never let a score in one section influence a score in another; I always put my name on the score sheet because I never say anything to anyone that I'm not willing to stand behind. I gave Near Perfection an almost perfect score.

To my delight, Near Perfection became a finalist in the 2009 Golden Heart® Contest (see my prior post entitled "Hook, Line, and Sinker"). But then, to my shock, a month or so later, it didn't final in the 2009 Winter Rose Contest (see my prior post entitled "Contest Woes"). Well, now, to my disappointment, but not to my surprise, it didn't win the 2009 Golden Heart®. I say "not to my surprise" only because, with each passing day, I come to realize more firmly that there is little room in the romance world for truly unique voices.

When I first saw Near Perfection on my screen, I will confess I reared back with the thought: "What is this?" But I'd made certain pledges to the 2009 Winter Rose Contest entrants (see my prior post entitled "A Promise to Contest Entrants"). So, I took another look, and within a page or two, I couldn't pull away. After my second or third burst of laughter, DH asked, "What's so amusing?" He knows it takes a lot to amuse me. I read him a couple of my favorite lines. DH, who can be quite perspicacious, said, "She'll either go nowhere or everywhere. That's what happens with true talent." He should know, as he's not only a graduate of Columbia, but Eastman School of Music.

Well, I'm delighted to tell you that the author of Near Perfection has taken the first step on her journey to somewhere, and hopefully, everywhere. And I'm honored to have been one of the authors who recognized and appreciated her talent in her pre-publication days. So, what is the true title, and who is the secret author, of Near Perfection?

The title of Near Perfection is Pleasant Lake, P.D. and the author of Pleasant Lake, P.D. is none other than 2009 Golden Heart® finalist Kelly Fitzpatrick.

And here is Kelly's first step on that journey:

Welcome to Wonderland! Population in the four digits. Folks in Wonderland primarily die of old age or hunting accidents, but all that's about to change because Lily Tucker has come to town.

Lily in Wonderland ~ coming soon from Cerridwen Press



  1. Madeline, I'm crying again. And just on punctuation and grammar alone, I'm surprised you found my manuscript remotely perfect (I'm certain I'll mispell words in this note). I'm not sure if I'm a writer. Yet. But I'm working on it daily. I tell people I'm a stand-up comedian with a debilitating fear of public speaking.

    I hope you will see Pleasant Lake P.D. in print some day. It is out to several editors for consideration. But the same things that people love about PLPD are the very things that keep it from being published. A) Political incorrectness. B) Intense levels of snark and inappropriatness. C) Two possible heros (because a girl needs choices, right?) D) A heroine who is - some say - not likeable (which hurts, because she's just like me. Sniffle.). I have been called snarky, crass, and flippant, and that was from judges who put me in the finals, so those must be good things.

    I have been unable to snag an agent, but luckily, some of my other works are catching some agent and editor attention. Pleasant Lake may end up being published postumously as one of the long lost works of crap by Kelly Fitzpatrick (my real name BTW). I have another manuscript under consideration at Cerridwen (a great e-publisher that I'm very grateful to for giving me a chance).

    And the Golden Heart went to a very deserving gal, who I am proud to call a friend. And I wouldn't say that if I didn't mean it, because apparently I'm not very likable.

    Anyhow, you made my day...many of my days. Like I said, you made me cry, which isn't easy.


  2. Other authors think Kelly Fitzpatrick is snarky, crass, and flippant, but I see only that she is unfailingly honest. Yes, here is an author who is honest in a business based on illusion. Behind her snarky, crass, and flippant words, I suspect there lays a wondrously vulnerable heart and soul.

    In this bittersweet moment of her career, which soon will pass and slip away forever, I say this to her: “Don’t doubt yourself as a writer, no matter how many editor or agent rejections might arrive.”

    Yesterday, in the August 2009 issue of RWR, I read these words in the article entitled “What Makes You Strong Makes You Sell” and thought of Kelly:

    “Embracing your strengths can sometimes mean pushing the boundaries of genres or breaking the rules about what will sell. As Misty Evans believes, ‘once you have confidence in what you do well, your writing blossoms. You take risks and break rules, discovering who you are along the way. From what I’ve experienced, rule breakers are often the ones who break out.’”

    The article went on to say:

    “A writer’s passion is often her greatest strength. But, it also can be a challenge. How far do you go, how much do you rein yourself in? ‘If your book pushes the envelope—in the right direction—great!’ says Carolyn Grayson. ‘But sometimes it is possible to go too far, and create a work that agents and editors find too difficult to identify the target market for, or perhaps the book does not deliver the reading experience that readers read romance novels for. Be inspired to push the envelope, but be paying attention to the market, and why readers will read your book, and make sure your book delivers.’”

    So, I say this also to Kelly: Temper your strengths with the frailties of the marketplace, but take risks, break rules, push that envelope, let your voice be heard.

    Happy Writing!

    P.S. I have a manuscript pending at EC. At the time of submission, I wasn’t certain if I should send it to EC or CP. Perhaps it has made its way over from EC to CP and is currently sitting in Kelly’s editor’s inbox. What an exciting thought that I may be among such illustrious company!